25.5cm tall x 16cm wide (10in x 6.3in). This antique Moroccan astrolabe was once used to cross the Sahara desert. It is made of brass, carefully and ornately engraved with markings to indicate time, direction, star positions, and more. This amazing tool is considered the precursor to the modern smartphone: it gives you the time, your location, your horoscope, and even help you make decisions-all with the swipe of a hand.
This astrolabe makes an impressive wall decoration and conversation piece. Astrolabes became popular during the height of the Roman Empire and remained popular until about the 18th century, when they fell out of favor.
These multi-use tools consist of a circular stack of sliding features all embedded within a disk called a "mater". A round plate containing a two-dimensional projection of the Earth's latitudinal lines sits within the mater and, over that plate, another circular feature called the "rete" contains the locations of certain well-known stars in the sky. Over that, a straight rule pivots around to line up with time measurements along the edge of the mater. And on the back of the whole thing, a pivotable siting device helps find the altitude of a star-often the starting point of a calculation.
Often found in shipwrecks, this unusual scientific tool was located in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. They are quite difficult to find in good condition and are treasured by collectors. Handmade; please allow for minor imperfections and design variations.Please inquire with any questions or for more pictures. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Middle East". The seller is "carolinastews" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped worldwide.